Friday, 17 October 2008

Come, Holy One

I am posting early Friday afternoon as I am going out this evening and by the time I get back home, I know I will be too tired to write anything. So, as promised, here is another in my series of "Rosary icons".

How I wish my image didn't have to be so small on this blog -- but that is just the way it is. Hopefully you will be able to see enough of the detail so that my comments make sense.

This icon, by the way, is of the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Blessed Mother and the Apostles at Pentecost. What we Christian call the Holy Spirit is actually more like the breath of God although this aspect of God is very difficult to describe. The important thing to remember is that Christians believe in one God with three unique "aspects": Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

This is the third "mystery" of the five Glorious Mysteries of the Holy Rosary.

The story behind this icon says that Jesus had told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem after His death and resurrection "until the coming of the Holy Spirit". So, at Pentecost, as the apostles and Blessed Mary were gathered together in the Upper Room (the place where Jesus had His last meal with his apostles before the crucifixion) suddenly a great wind began to blow and as the apostles looked at each other, they saw something like flames of fire over their heads. Suddenly, they felt impelled to proclaim the good news about Jesus. Up until that time, they had been afraid to say or do anything to bring attention to themselves for fear that they, too, would be crucified. Now they begin to preach and rejoice loudly, drawing large crowds. St. Peter gave his first sermon (so far as we know) and not only could everyone understand what he was saying even though there were people of all nationalities present, but over 3,000 of those listening asked to be allowed to become followers of Jesus the Messiah.

In the icon, you see Blessed Mary seated at the centre. On each side of her there are six apostles (one had already been selected to fill the space left by Judas Iscariot). Next to her, you see St. Peter on her right and St. John on her left.

At the very base of the icon, there is what appears to be a very old man. He represents the world. In his hands is a white cloth holding 12 scrolls -- one for each of the apostle. He is dressed like a king.

The word written at the top of the icon is Pentecost in Greek. Pentecost is celebrated by Christians 50 days after Easter (pente = five). This was a Jewish festival at the time -- a harvest festival celebrated 50 days after the 2nd day of Passover.

The blue symbol at the top represents the Holy Spirit and the clouds with lines represent the wind which blew at the descent of the Spirit on the Blessed Mother and the Apostles.

Hope you found this interesting and enjoyed looking at the icon. I am off now to get ready for my evening's activities.

Peace be with you all.

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